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Monday, January 12, 2009

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

The Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen: Volume V: Northanger Abbey and Persuasion
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192547054
Pages: 348pgs
Genre: Romance/Gothic
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge , RYOB Challenge, Romance Challenge, 20 in 2009 Challenge

Synopsis from the Publisher
Featuring an introduction by the novelist Margaret Drabble, the classic novel tells the story of a naive young woman who is invited to a mysterious old country manor, where she imagines she is a character in a Gothic novel.

My Review:

I am not quite sure what to think of this novel. I liked it while I was reading it. Really liked it to the point of not being able to put it down. But it ended there. Once I was finished, I forgot everything. It seemed quite disposable after reading it. Something not worth remembering. I feel terrible writing that. Like I am disgracing myself as a Jane Austen follower.

The characters lacked the type of depth that Jane Austen was so famous for. Henry Tilney had none of the depth of Darcy, Brandon or Wentworth. Catherine had none of the spunk and intellect that defined Austen's other female leads. This is her earliest novel and it is obvious. She was still developing as a writer. It is nice to see her earliest baby steps but I am not sure I will ever pick this book up again. It is an enjoyable read but not as engaging as Austen's other tales.

*This book was bought by me by me. I am not making any profit from my review of this book other than my enjoyment.


  1. [...] . I will be adding a separate entry for each review. 1.Mansfield Park-Jane Austen 2.Northanger Abbey-Jane Austen 3.Emma-Jane Austen Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Finding Passion in [...]

  2. My daughter is like this with some books. I've wondered if the character or story lacked in depth.

  3. The characters seemed to be bland. They had only one dimension. It is obvious that this was Austen's first work. I did like it while I was reading it though but an hour later I could not remember a thing I read.

  4. I think another thing to keep in mind regarding this book is that the purpose of this book was to point out how ridiculous gothic novels were, especially because they were so popular. Perhaps Austen's characters aren't as fully developed because she was, essentially, pointing out the faults in gothic novels with her own gothic novel. I mean, have you ever read a gothic novel? The characters tend to be kind of hilarious because they are ill written. The point with a gothic novel, after all, wasn't characterization - but plot.

  5. I have read many gothic novels. I spent a terrible year taking a full year course on them. It was probably the worst experience of my life.

    I did like the book while I was reading it. I definitely caught that it was a parody. I also think the characters weren't developed very fully because it was Austen's first novel. It was probably a mistake to read this one before the others.

  6. I havent read this one yet. But I do think Austen outdid herself when she wrote up Darcy, Brandon and Wentworth. So if this one was forgettable, she can be forgiven :)
    great review!

  7. [...] Park-Jane Austen 2.Northanger Abbey-Jane Austen 3. A Fortunate Age-Joanna Smith Rakoff 4.Houston, We Have A Problema-Gwendolyn Zepeda [...]

  8. Are you going to watch Northanger Abbey on Masterpiece Classic Feb 14? I haven't read this book but look forward to the show. Perhaps the show will be better for you, especially since you HAVE read it!

  9. You bet I am. How can I resist? The only version of Northanger Abbey I have seen is the Wishbone one. I hope they find a more appealing actor to play Tilney than a tiny dog :)



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